The problem with god…

Well, not so much with god, (which god, btw?) but the system that supposedly promotes him/her/it.

I’ve been stewing on this for a little while, but some Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on my door early this morning and I was as annoyed at being roused from a decent sleep in as I was at their motives. You see, christendom hasn’t had a genuine spiritual motivation since about the fourth century.

If you go back through the Hebrew scriptures that were misappropriated to form the “old testament” you’ll notice that the Hebrews weren’t monotheists. They knew there were plenty of other goddesses and gods out there, but their deal by virtue of birth or conversion was that they’d only worship a particular one. When christendom first kicked off the founder didn’t even speak to gentiles about conversion, he was interested in motivating Hebrews to a kind of reform.

It wasn’t until the spread of christendom to Hellenic culture and Constintine adopting the religion for Imperial purposes that the whole “one true god” thing got going. It must be pointed out also that Constantine wasn’t a christian. He was only baptised on his deathbed.

For those who felt suitably drawn to connect with the Hebrew god conversion was and still is available. Those from among the Jewish tribes who didn’t feel inclined to engage in the contract were also catered for. They’d be left in Gehenna, that is the garbage dump outside the gates. Not so savoury perhaps, but it was a place outside of the group and it had it’s relevance. There were afterall, plenty of other groups and deities and pantheons to partake of.

Considering the attitude of the prophet to encourage those who would choose personally to join the christian sect of Judaism, before it became a separate Imperial movement of course, such choices were to be made by adults who felt spiritually led. This really torpedoes the whole approach of raising children to a religion by threatening them with torture, exclusion and death if they refuse a particular identity.

If christendom were true to the teachings of it’s prophet, no child would be raised with the lie that christendom is the only true religion and the Hebrew god the only true god. Every person would be able to make her or his own mind up according to their spiritual inclinations, whatever they may or may not be. And forget about running a country by religious law. That’s the one form of leadership that christ specifically forbid, not to mention theocracy also being a direct contradiction of the whole personal salvation ethic. And the fact that humans are a gregarious animal and living with the best interests of the individual and the group at heart is a universal human requirement regardless of religion or ethnicity. Sure it’s had different expressions over the ages but “don’t kill” is hardly specific to christendom, particularly since it’s been disregarded continuously.

There are many goddesses and gods out there and each individual should theoretically be free to discern for her or himself which of the many they feel drawn to, if any. There’s nothing to say that any goddess or god is any better or more capable than any other. As for heaven and hell, well, gehenna was simply a place outside the city gates. Hell was originally the German Hel, which was simply a resting place at the end of life.

The ancient Hebrews were aware of other goddesses and gods worshiped by other tribes but didn’t see fit to account for afterlife in each instance. Pre-christian Europe was replete with many and varied different heavens and hels according to the pantheons and localities. Can one god have ultimate say over the followers of another? Who’s to know what’s possible in that case, but one thing’s for sure you wouldn’t take the word of followers of a particular god who are proven liars and killers.

As a Witch and follower of the old Germanic pantheon, I’m kinda hoping to spend eternity with Freya… if I’m not reincarnated and I’m not so sure about how that would work in the quantum mechanical universe anyways. Suffice it to say that fundamentalist and charismatic christianity is on the rise, particularly in politics and particularly among young people who don’t have very well developed bullshit detectors or have grown up with experiences of violence or other abuse. That’s not because religion fixes abuse, but some churches certainly do exploit the effects of it.

With any luck those of us who are old enough and sharp enough will remain around to point out the issues with such political religion, and hopefully survive to see a more moderate day. Wes thu hael.

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Three cheers for the blue screen of death

Shameless pilferage from Shakesville. Oral Roberts University faces the blue screen of death Cross posted from Bark Bark Woof Woof.

How’s about that then? A laptop crashes and so does a religious empire. Gotta love that.

Oral Roberts is the one who was called by God to raise 8 million dollars for a bible college or “be sent home”. I recall a blogger comment that allowing himself to be killed by God for disobedience would probably have been a more effective demonstration of faith… or at least more humorous.

But what’s the deal with Mrs. Roberts Jnr (property of the son, not the patriarch) sending all these txt msgs to young blokes? Heh, part of me is thinking “half her luck” but not at the expense of Uni students who were guilt tripped into attending godbag college, eh? Wonkette has a brilliant post on “the cougar of ORU.”

Corrente has a take on the story, filed under the appropriate tag “what is wrong with these people” LOL

It’s unfortunate but the way things have developed in recent centuries, well, millenia really, religion has been used by these little nimrods and ahabs to build personal or political empires of wealth and power… with misogyny so deeply ingrained in both the males and their female furniture that it is seen as a sign of good faith. Having said that, it won’t be the abuse of power or hatred of women that takes the spotlight with this one. Already the focus is on the wife.

The whole purity ball thing must just wear off once you’re married, eh? Since a woman’s only real value in that system is her virginity. Will other lunatic fundies see this as “proof” of women’s inherent sinfulness and the need for domination? Hmmm. And what about all the other sexual predators using religion as a cover? Whether it’s the well heeled wife of a millionaire playing Mrs. Robinson, or Ministers touching up girls who go to see them for “christian counselling” the whole nonsensical focus on human sexuality and repression seems to be approaching boiling point.

Pam’s House Blend has another interesting review of this percolating scandal (groan)… Why does god hate Oral Roberts University? and the commentariat are in fine style over there! The post contains a copy of a memo requesting that ORU facilities be seconded to assist a theocrat in a bid for election.

Dunno really. The Witch in me wants to sit back and say “well, when you build glass houses…” but the whole deal is so sordid. It’s hard to gloat at the trouble this will cause, and the pain so many possibly well intentioned students and faculty are going to suffer because of the hoo-haa… when you’re in that place, (fundamentalism) you’re so emotionally and psychologically damaged, so manipulated into thinking and doing everything according to the “word of God” tradition as manufactured by tin-pot Nimrods and their Jezebels. It’s hideous to endure and even worse to try to emerge from. So far it’s taken me 13 years and counting… A bunch of us were chatting about it yesterday, the damage such abuse does to the psyche… *shudder*

My last word, Witch and all, is “poor bastards”.